We all love a good hip, glute, and thigh workout, right? Add this exercise to your next training session, and you are sure to get a superb workout.
Once again, the humble yet wonderful squat has not disappointed us. This is one exercise that just keeps on giving, variation after variation. With the friendly addition of a side kick, this movement is your new weapon in the war on flabby bottoms!
You really need to have mastered the basic parallel squat first. So as a warmup to the side-kick version, practice a set of parallel squats.
Keep the weight of your body in your heels, so that your knees don’t feel pain or stress. Imagine you are about to sit on a chair as you lower your bottom to the floor. Keep your knees and legs parallel the entire time.
Inhale as you lower into a parallel squat. Exhale as you start to stand up, and extend your right leg out to the side. By the time you are back to standing tall, your leg will be extended out to the side.
Repeat this exercise 12 times on each leg. You can practice it 12 times on one side and then the other, or you can alternate between right and left. I suggest doing a set of both options to create a combination. Remember, you need to squat in between each side kick.
Suggested Program Sequence
For a good workout, do 12 of each of the following, in order:
1. Basic parallel squats
2. Alternating side-kick squats
3. Right-side-kick squats
4. Left-side-kick squats
5. Alternating side-kick squats to finish
Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor or as deeply as you can manage between the side-kick action. When you perform the side kick, try to hold your leg up for a couple of seconds so you really feel the glute muscles connecting.
Keep your shoulders relaxed with your chest nice and open so your back isn’t rounding throughout the exercise. Remember to keep your stomach muscles engaged as you exercise to ensure that your back is safe and your stomach gets a workout at the same time.
This exercise will get your heart rate up and your body heated in no time. It is a dynamic glute workout that also improves balance and stability. Perform the standing glute stretch from a few weeks ago as a counter-balance stretch. (/n2/health/move-of-the-week-standing-glute-stretch-188537.html) Enjoy!
Emma-Kate Stampton is a personal trainer and Pilates teacher-trainer. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.